Washington, DC — Legislation introduced today by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia lays out an innovative strategy to address the ongoing fragmentation of wildlife habitat from man-made barriers. The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act would create a national program for maintaining wildlife migrations, movements, and wildlife corridors to ensure that wildlife will face fewer struggles to reach food, water, shelter and breeding sites.
“Americans overwhelmingly want to see wildlife thrive on our cherished public lands, but more than one third of wildlife species are at risk of extinction. Protecting wildlife corridors is a pragmatic step we can take now to ensure healthy populations of many species across the country, from pronghorn and elk to turtles and monarch butterflies,” said Laura Daniel Davis, vice president for conservation strategy at the National Wildlife Federation. “This common-sense legislation will make long overdue investments to help wildlife navigate fragmented habitat and human landscapes.”
“The state of New Mexico passed historic legislation earlier this year, designed to protect wildlife corridors and public safety, because New Mexicans understand we have an obligation to share the landscape with wildlife. Now it’s time to take this conversation to a national level,” said Jesse Deubel, executive director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “We applaud Senator Udall for leading this important initiative to ensure wildlife connectivity across the country.”
Earlier this year, the National Wildlife Federation released a poll of residents in Colorado and New Mexico that showed massive support for protecting wildlife migration routes. Among voters of all ages, political affiliation, race and geography, 84 percent said they favored an increase in protections for wildlife corridors.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.